No smoking law; public says not just for Olympics, not just for Tokyo


With Tokyo Olympics coming up, one of the hot topics is that the International Olympic Committee and the WHO have agreed that they should promote a smoke-free Olympics, in order to protect against second-hand smoke, but with Japan being a bit of a smokers’ paradise and with the government owning a third of Japan Tobacco, they are a bit lagging on things. However, recently a bill has been introduced that would require all restuarants over 30 square metres to go non-smoking. To see what the public thought of this, Intage Research conducted a survey into going non-smoking.

Despite extensive advert campaigns like the one pictured below, Japan Tobacco seems to have failed to convince the general public that the problem of smoking is not disease but manner issues like litter. Furthermore, Japan must be about the only country with more restrictions on outdoor smoking – for instance many major train stations ban smoking within a radius of a kilometre or so – versus indoor – basically no restrictions in restaurants. I remember my first experience in Japan many years ago; they asked “Smoking or Non-Smoking?”, we said “Non”, so they lifted the ashtray off the table. Things have got better now, but not much…

Anti-smoking ads

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Japan fans’ expectations for the Sochi Olympics

How many medals do you expect Japan to win at at the Sochi Olympics? graph of japanese statisticsWith just three days to go until the start of the Sochi Olympics, this seemed a good time to publish the results of a survey by Intage into awareness of the 2014 Sochi Olympics.


Between the 15th and 17th of January 2014 exactly 1,000 members of the Intage-run Cue Monitor site completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was exactly 50:50 male and female, and 20.0% in each of the age groups of twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties.

The pie chart above is interesting because the Japan Olympic Committee has set a target of outdoing their performance at Nagano in 1998 where they won 10 medals, including five gold. I think that is unobtainable, particularly five golds, but unlike the majority of respondents, I can see around seven to nine medals being obtained. Wee Sara Takanashi is a shoo-in for gold in the ski jump, figure skating might see a gold for Mao Asada and one or two other places, along with a couple of speed skating medals. Add in a couple of good performances in other sports and we have two gold and six of other colours.

I’m moderately interested in the games myself, but I’ll probably not do much more than watch the highlights on the news, I suspect.
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